2013-02-07 / Outdoors

DNR to update winter deer yards Registration open for 4-H Discovery Camp

DNR seeks public’s help in mapping Upper Peninsula

LANSING – As part of an initiative to update maps of deer wintering complexes (also known as “deer yards”) in the Upper Peninsula, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking help from the public to identify locations where deer are concentrating this winter.

During the snowy winter months, deer in some areas of the U.P. traditionally migrate to areas that possess an abundance of conifer trees, especially cedar and hemlock. Cedar and hemlock provide an excellent source of food, while their branches intercept snow and serve to shelter deer from deep snowfall.

The reduced snow depth in deer yards results in deer expending less energy moving between feeding and shelter areas. In addition, the conifer cover acts to insulate the deer by reducing wind movement and providing higher nighttime temperatures. Because deer have a more restricted and lower quality diet in the winter compared to other times of the year, it is imperative that they find ways to conserve energy stores.

“We are updating our maps of where deer are spending their time during the winter. This is an effort to ensure wildlife biologists and foresters have the best available information when making decisions about conservation and sustainable management of deer wintering complexes,” said DNR wildlife biologist Bob Doepker.

DNR field staff will be verifying the presence of deer and clarifying the deer wintering complex boundaries during the winter months.

EAST LANSING – Youth interested in exploring Michigan resources in a social setting while participating in fun and engaging activities this summer can apply to 4-H Discovery Camp.

Open to youth ages 13-19, 4-H Discovery Camp takes place June 24-28 at Michigan State University. Staying in dorms on campus allows campers to experience campus life while exploring ideas, research and opportunities in the field of energy as it relates to natural resources and agriculture. This interactive precollege program allows campers to conduct experiments, ask questions and problem-solve new ideas.

“The camp also provides youth the opportunity to engage in recreation and social activities and gain independence by spending five days on campus with other youth their age,” said MSU Extension program leader Jacob DeDecker.

Campers will team up with leading researchers at MSU who are developing innovations in biofuel production and technology that offer alternatives to fossil-based fuels. Youth will be conducting experiments and will learn how to make biofuel. They will also tour labs on campus, the Kellogg Biological Station, Carbon Green Bioenergy, a wind farm and the MSU power plant.

Fees for the five-day camp are $190 for 4-H members and $200 for non-members. Cost includes meals, lodging and materials. Space is limited; campers will be chosen on the basis of their submitted applications. Applications are available online at http://4h.msue. msu.edu/4h/events/event/4_ h_ discovery_ camp_ 2013 and are due to Jacob DeDecker at the State 4-H Office by April 19.

For more information on MSU Extension’s 4-H Discovery Camp program, contact Jacob DeDecker at dedecke4@msu.edu or (517) 432-7604.

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